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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Friday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Gospel text (Mt 16,24-28): Jesus said to his disciples, «If you want to follow me, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. For whoever chooses to save his life will lose it, but the one who loses his life for my sake will find it (…). There is nothing you can give to recover your own self (…)».

The man is not a being "thrown" at random into the world

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, Jesus verbalizes a key question: "What can a man give in exchange for his life?" Answer: nothing other than giving back his own life to God. This presupposes that no one exists by chance: a man is not a being "thrown" at random into the world, but we were created because God already knew and loved us.

Each man's life is preceded by awareness, an idea and a love, which constitute the foundation of our existence. The Creation has been made to open up a space where we can respond to the love of God. The Cosmos was not created to include zillions of stars and many other things, but so that there would be a place for the "alliance", for the "yes" of love between God and a man who answers Him back.

—O Lord, my freedom and your Cross appear in my answer: without freedom my response would not be love; without the Cross it would not be the adequate response to follow you.